Share your shelf | Piedmonters tell us about the books that mean something to them

Part of an occasional series, this week’s bookshelf belongs to Natalie McHugh, her husband Harrison, and their daughter, Charlotte.
Shelf by shelf, McHugh shares associations from memorable books:

Rick Steve’s France located on the second from top shelf: As we sat in the gardens of Versailles, I absentmindedly cut off my boyfriend’s marriage proposal to read aloud from [the] travel book. He quickly took the book away and started his proposal over. (I said “yes!”)

Top shelf: During COVID-19 lockdown when I told my husband I had settled on making ice cream as my quarantine hobby, he surprised me with The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz and let me know he’d be a willing guinea pig to taste test my creations. 

Third shelf from top: Daunted by what to plant in your garden? Read Landscape Plants for California Gardens, by Bob Perry. It’s an easy guide to finding plants by variety (ex: trees, shrubs, vines) or plant palette (ex: woodland, Mediterranean, California natives). Perry, one of my favorite college professors, wrote an inscription inside on my last day of his year-long plant identification course. 

Are your bookshelves a window into your soul? A roadmap of your past or an aspirational reading list? Send us a photo of your bookshelf and some thoughts about what some of the titles mean to you. Email us at

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